According to a report from mortgage technology company Ellie Mae, it took an average of 49.9 days to close on a home in 2021. That can feel like an eternity when you’re eager to get into your new house, but real estate deals take time. This breakdown of the process and tips to navigate it can help you avoid slowdowns and other issues.
How long does closing take?
The closing process officially begins once the seller accepts a buyer’s offer. It ends on closing day when they sign all the paperwork and the property officially changes hands.
The length of a closing depends on what kind of financing the buyer is using to purchase the home. In general, closing takes longer if the buyer is getting a mortgage than it does with a cash deal. That’s because there are lots of parties involved in the lending process. A lender will want to take a close look at the buyer’s financial situation to fully approve their mortgage. It will also want to get the home appraised, conduct a title search and more — all of which take time.
The type of mortgage being granted also plays a role. According to the Ellie Mae data, conventional loans move slightly faster than FHA and VA loans:
- Conventional loans: 48 days
- FHA loans: 54 days
- VA loans: 57 days
A cash deal, by comparison, can speed things up considerably. Closing an all-cash sale can take just a few weeks. If you’re really pressed for time, you might be able to close on a cash deal in just days.
Closing on a refinance is usually faster than a purchase.
How long does the closing day itself take?
On closing day, you’ll typically sit down with all parties involved — including sellers, lenders and real estate attorneys — and fill out a pile of paperwork. It involves a lot of reading fine print, initialing documents, writing checks and signing on the dotted line. If all goes smoothly, expect the process to take at least two hours.
The home closing process
Closing on a new home is a process. Steps a buyer must complete before getting the keys include:
- Hiring an attorney
- Opening an escrow account
- Running a title search
- Having the home inspected
- Negotiating closing costs
- Setting a date
- Doing a final walk-through
- Attending the closing
The title search should be run early in the closing process. Similarly, getting an inspection as soon as possible will give you time to deal with any unexpected …….